Baby Safety by Michelle Newell Photography

 When my cousin had her sweet baby boy, the first idea that came to mind was photographing him with our grandpa’s (baby’s great grandpa’s) vintage bicycle. This bicycle has been in the family for a LONG time. Even the sweet baby’s Papa rode it as a young boy… I am super sentimental, so I really wanted to produce this shot for them. But the very first thing that came to mind was making sure this was produced with baby’s safety being first.
My Grandpa’s bicycle did not have a basket on it, so I purchased a basket that could be secured onto the bicycle and not come off. My husband and I also tested it with 3-4x the weight of the baby to ensure that it would hold 8 pounds easily.
Prior to the session I layered the basket with padding and support to help keep baby comfortable and secure while the shots took place. {Please note: baby must be in a deep sleep for tummy shots and not squirmy}. Prior to placing baby in the basket, I took a shot of the bike with it looking as if it were free standing for the final image. I then had baby’s daddy straddle the bike, keeping his thighs together tight while holding the handlebars to ensure the bike would not move. Baby’s Nana (grandma) was within a foot of the basket on the opposite side as an additional spotter.
After positioning baby on his tummy, he was place gently and securely into the basket. His daddy support his head at all times and never took his finger off him. Baby’s Nana also kept her hand on his back until I was ready to take my shots and removed her hand for literally 3 seconds while I clicked my shutter and replaced her hand, all the while never being more than a foot away from him.  Later in Photoshop, the two images were composited to produce the final image.
I love producing “complicated” images. But what I love even more, is showing and explaining how these types of images are produced with baby’s utmost safety in mind. I will and would never attempt a shot with these precious lives if I did not know that baby’s safety would be hindered in any way.
For those wanting to learn more through video regarding newborn safety and posing, CreativeLIVE recently featured Kelly Brown (one of Baby Safe Photography’s featured photographers) of Little Pieces Photography in an online workshop, which was outstanding. In the 4 day course, Kelly taught on the importance of newborn safety, and also demonstrated how to pose baby safely in numerous poses. I highly recommend investing in the valuable education.
Happy {SAFE} Shoot!
~ Michelle

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